Episode 1: Operation Lightspeed
...and before anyone asks, yes, I'll be tackling though the episodes altogether until further notice.
So let us begin with...
Episode 1: Operation Lightspeed, or How it All Began...
So the entire series starts off...in the desert. We see a group of travellers who are trying to explore...something. What do they want? What's hidden in the sands? Oh, yeah, and they're dressed in Arabic getup, it seems.
They stop and look at something, and they can't believe it. What did they see? Some sort of ruins. What's in them? Treasure? Mummies? Well, we'll find out.
As the travellers search for the treasure, one of them sits down and gets a drink. However, the earth quakes. A pillar slides through, and a fissure is formed. The leader of the travellers falls through, and what does he find? Golden statues.
He tells the other travellers to go down, and they do. The last of them doesn't climb down as much as he pretty much fell down. Then the leader finds golden coins, but one of the other travellers finds a coffin-like tomb. Thinking that there could be treasure, the leader knocks off a guardian-like statue, and a seal's broken. The earth quakes again, and the rest of the travellers think that it's a good idea to get the fuck out.
However, the leader wants the damn treasure, and he decides to open it. You can see where this is going. The three travellers push the lid, and the tomb opens, revealing...evil spirits, and some of them presumably kill the travellers for their curiosity (and, for the leader, greed and stupidity).
Way to go, travellers. Way to fucking go.
And so we cut to the opening credits! With a pretty nice theme song, to boot.
After the credits, we're back to the spirits floating out of the tomb and wreaking havoc in a city. For the record, the city's called Mariner Bay.
Cut to the Aquabase, and a woman, Dana Mitchell, played by Alison MacInnis, walks down a hall. She tells a man, Captain Mitchell, that something has come up. He dismisses the meeting for now, and father and daughter talk privately. The news: the demons, those spirits we saw, escaped.
So Captain Mitchell takes something out of a vault, a briefcase. Inside it are pictures and profiles of the new Rangers that we're about to see.
Who the hell are they? Let's find out!
First up is Joel Rawlings, the Sky Cowboy, played by Keith Robinson. Some of you may remember him currently as C.C. in the movie Dreamgirls
. Oh, and he's also a singer, if his other famous role (that I just stated) doesn't clue you in. Anyway, he's doing some high-flying (literally) stunts, having an airplane soar down and flips a few times. As he flies away, the people cheer.
Fade into after the show, where he's signing autographs. As Joel does that, two men in black walk to him. One of them calls out his name, and he looks confused as to what's going on. As he should be. Dana watches in the meantime as Joel protests against the men in black. Natually, presumably, he doesn't know what he's in for.
Second on the list is Kelsey Winslow, played by Canadian actress Sasha Williams, the only aversion on this series to the otherwise-affected-by-everyone-else trope Dawson Casting
Little fun fact: in the (few) years to come, the actress would marry Eli Craig, thus making her Sally Field's daughter-in-law, which is pretty freaking sweet. Anyway, Kelsey is rock climbing up a very steep cliff. After she reaches the top, the same men in black appear, and they're here for her.
What does Kelsey respond to that sudden twist in development? "Who in the world are you?" Heh. I like her already. :)
Third on the list is Chad Lee, played by Thai actor and martial artist Michael Chaturantabut, "Mike Chat" for short. Obviously, he's the martial artist of the cast. And he's the one to blame for the infliction of one Taylor Lautner
to the world, as Michael was the one who convinced young Taylor to go into acting. While the latter was trained by him. So thanks, Mike.
And if anyone asks, this is pretty much his Never Live It Down
moment to me. So expect such references whenever I see fit.
Anyway, where was I? Ah, yeah. He's at Sea World, training and riding on a killer whale. As he dives out of the water and swims to get some fish for the whale, the same men in black appear. And, you guessed it, they want him.
So that's three down...one to go, it seems.
Cut to a building on fire, and a bunch of firefighters are trying to, well, fight it. One of the men in black is looking for one Carter...oh, fuck.
One Carter Grayson.
Already I can feel the blushing going on. Dammit.
One of the random firefighters point upward. And...there he is. Carter Grayson, played by the oh-so-damn-underrated Sean Cw Johnson. The one actor who other fans bash for his Dull Surprise
. Really? That's bad acting? Out of all the actors here, well, in my previous attempt of this liveblog, he was my favorite. And he still is.
What is it about him that I like? The leadership-like attitude his character displays? His deep, heroic voice that makes my mentality go "Squee" at times? The times in which his eyes are piercing ice blue?
Well...it's all of those things. And the fact that he seems like a really
nice guy in real life, from what I heard (i.e. lurking the hell out of Power Rangers
forums and groups).
Also, he's a Woobie. Though an Iron Woobie at times. Why? Not just for the fact that, at the time, fans hated his acting. There's this one time
where a so-called "friend" of his talked smack. And another time
where someone pretended to be him. (Don't worry, I facepalmed at that Epic Fail
, too.) Naturally, he did not take it well
. And the former event actually made him a Papa Wolf
of sorts, staying out of the limelight of the Interwebz in order to protect his family. D'aww.
Finally, this little story that makes me like another Woobie that I mentioned in my last review a lot. It's said that prior to Lightspeed Rescue
, Sean guest-starred in Safe Harbor
, a show that starred Christopher Khayman Lee, Andros from Power Rangers in Space
. The two struck up a friendship, and Christopher convinced Sean to go for the part. Which, thanks in huge part to The Power of Friendship
, well...the rest is history.
So if you're looking for someone to thank, thank Christopher. If you're looking for someone to blame, blame him. Me, I'm thanking him. All the way.
...damn. I said a lot. Yeah, this entire gushing is all Sean's fault. Or, to pull up an old phrase I used in my previous attempt of a liveblog...
(Yes, it's back. Aren't you surprised?)
Anyway...where was I?...damn God of Lightspeed
...Dana appears, watching the bit of heroism that's about to take place.
When, you may ask? Right now.
Also, Dana looks at the profile of Carter. (le sigh
In the burning building, Carter tries to find survivors. He does, a young girl who's down on the ground. He picks her up, and he leads her to safety.
Or, at least, he tries to, but suddenly, there's a demon showing up. The Call Knows Where You Live
much? Or is it proof that Carter's The Chosen One, the one who will lead the team to victory and be so fucking awesome at it? The demon uses Flamethrower, and Carter and the girl run.
Run into safety.
Run into a fucking glass window.
Run out of the glass window and land safely on the ground.
That, kids, is why no one fucks with Carter Grayson. And it's just getting started.
Dana steps in and checks on the girl. Carter asks just what she's doing, and Dana explains that she's a paramedic. After she helps with the kid, she steps forward to him after he goes to the fire truck. With the men in black behind her. Yep, you guessed it, he, too, is needed.
As if, you know, it isn't blatant enough.
Cut to the city itself, and the demons are still wreaking havoc. As they do. Then they head elsewhere, to a place that's canonically known as the Skull Cavern. Here, like in my last attempt, I'm still calling it the Demon Paradisico.
In Demon Paradisico, the three demons reveal themselves. We have Loki, Diabolico Prime*
, and Vypra. Up until Episode 4, she's said to have been played by a different actress. After (or around) Episode 4, we're treated to the too-painful-to-be-Narmtastic
acting of one Jennifer Yen.
And people thought that Sean was a bad actor. Pfft.
Anyway, Loki's happy that they're free, so that way, they can claim the palace of Queen Bansheera. However, DP protests, saying that she isn't even here. Oh, yeah, and cute baby Impus is there with them.
DP wonders why the queen isn't there, and Loki responds that humans built the city on top of the palace. He then shows a before (in ancient times) and after (in current time) picture of Demon Paradisico and Mariner Bay. Therefore, no palace, no queen, no ultimate power. So what do they decide? In order to get their powers back, they must destroy the city brick by brick.
That will be no easy feat, as you'll later see.
But cut to a helicopter carrying the four future Rangers. Carter peers down and sees a submarine. Of course, Kelsey's excited to see it. So the helicopter flies down to the submarine, and they presumably board it. From there, they head to the Aquabase that way.
Once they arrive, Dana leads the others through the control room. Chad wonders where they are, but Kelsey replies, "I don't know, but it's cool, huh?"
Ladies and gentlemen, the non-Carter character I also like. Love the enthusiasm.
Joel stops at some sort of screen and presses the buttons, not knowing what they really are. He unintentionally has the alarm going off, and he tries to press a random combination in order for them to stop, which he fails to do so. Dana shuts it off by pressing the right combination, and she leads him to the rest of the group. And by that, I mean dragging him away from the machine.
We cut to the meeting room, and the future Rangers are greeted by Captain Mitchell, who awaits them. Joel walks up to the captain and says, "I don't know who you are, but this is illegal! This is kidnapping!" Jeeze, let the captain explain himself, dude.
Oh, wait, the captain tells him that in reality, he's not holding anyone against his will, and he's free to go. Joel leaves, but there's a catch: he can leave after the captain tells him what's going on. And a man stops the future Green Ranger. So the Rangers take their seats, and...
Oh, good. Time for some interesting infodump!
Captain Mitchell explains that five thousand years ago, Mariner Bay was inhabited by a group of evil spirits, the demons. Their only purpose was to destroy and conquer. However, that plan epically failed, as a warlock was strong enough to seal them up. And yet, despite this, the people always feared that they would be free again.
Well, considering how stupid the travellers were...granted, We Could Have Avoided All This
if they didn't go there at that moment, but then again, we wouldn't have had Carter being awesome.
Of course, Captain Mitchell relayed the story of how a group of Nomad travellers did exactly that, freeing the demons and were presumably killed. And there were presumably many a facepalm that day.
Luckily, Lightspeed Rescue has developed the technology and weapons needed in order to fight those demons and stop them once and for all. Because of their skills (Kelsey's rock-climbing and perkiness; Joel's sky-dancing moves and suaveness; Chad's skills with the ocean and, of course, fighting; and Carter's bravery, awesomeness, and wanting to help others, also spawning a dynasty with his--or her--children doing the same thing, and becoming known as the Multiversal Ranger, becoming more important than any other Ranger
—wait, wrong canon), they will be able to use those weapons effectively. And, most importantly, they will defend the city as the Lightspeed Power Rangers.
Needless to say, the reactions...vary. Kelsey wonders if the Aquabase was built in order for them to fight off against angry demons, and Captain Mitchell replies with a "yes". Joel says, "I heard you out...I think you're nuts...I'm out of here!", and he leaves.
However, Carter, whilst really wanting to suppress a facepalm, tells Joel to wait. The Red Ranger realizes that it pretty much explains it. And by "it", he means seeing that demon while he was saving the girl in the building burning. Indeed, it's one of them.
...wow. No wonder why I like Carter. Not only is he brave, but he's pretty damn smart, too! He's basically...he can do pretty much anything.
Anyway, Dana and Captain Mitchell are suddenly called, and the monitor reveals the demons that were wreaking havoc. The other Rangers watch, completely convinced about the situation now. Captain Mitchell tells them that the city needs them, and one by one, they agree to help. First, Carter steps in with an "I'm in, sir", then Kelsey with a "...me too", and Chad with a "I want to help". Joel's the last to accept, albeit relucantly and after the other Rangers just...stare at him.
Joel asks what they can do first, and Captain Mitchell reveals the Rescue Morphers. Joel, Chad, Carter, and Kelsey accept theirs...but there's one left. Who will it belong to?
Well, that question is pretty much asked. The answer? Dana will be the fifth Ranger. For eighteen years, Captain Mitchell had been training Dana for...wait, what
According to Word of God
and All There in the Manual
, Dana's eighteen years old. Just how did Captain Mitchell train her from babyhood to childhood to all the way to adulthood? Unless if he meant that he raised her for that moment.
Which could make sense.
Anyway, Dana gladly accepts the last morpher. Now it's time to get to work.
The five Rangers grab their jackets and head to their Humvee, which I dubbed (and will call it still) "the Rescuemobile". The new guys are amazed at the vehicle, and they climb on board. And so they head off to face the trouble.
Good luck, Rangers. We're all counting on you.
At a random part of the city, the demon, a repainted Monster!Psycho Red, and some Batlings show up. Yep, you guessed it, they're wreaking havoc. Suddenly, the Lightspeed Rangers show up, ready to save the day. They look at the Batlings that are trying to attack the citizens, and Carter decides that they should try to help the people. So they do.
Oh, and they try to fight Batlings by themselves, without any powers. It succeeds just as well as you expect, which is to say, not at all. Well, except for Chad, but it's a given.
As for the main Monster of the Week? Carter tries to fucking run it over by using the Rescuemobile
. Damn. That's awesome. Sadly, it doesn't work, as the MOtW uses fire attacks on Carter, forcing him to stop. And if that wasn't bad enough, the demon pulls him out of the vehicle, throws him, causing him to land a lightpost on his back and fall to the ground.
And, as mentioned, the other Rangers don't do well against the Batlings. Even Chad's skills wear off after a little while. Carter tells the captain via, presumably, the morpher that the demons are too strong for them. Captain Mitchell replies that they should use their morphers. The Rangers nod, and they get up and prepare themselves for, basically, Round 2.
Beginning with this gem, Carter talking smack to the demon.
: Hey, you! With the hot temper! You want to destroy Mariner Bay? You must go through us to do it!
With that statement alone, the demon is about to learn that one rule: never fuck with Carter, bitch.
With a shout of "Lightspeed! Rescue!", the Rangers morph. And since it's the first episode, it's a lengthy one, showing each Ranger's morph. After that, the demon is shocked when they see them, and the citizens are happy when they watch. And, of course, the Rangers are happy that it worked.
The demon orders the Batlings to destroy the Rangers, but our heroes use their blasters against the mooks. Carter just shoots the everliving hell out of the Batlings. Joel does a neat trick: he tosses the blaster up in the air, and he jumps and shoots them. Dana uses hers as a baton. However, even though most of them use blasters, Chad doesn't use his, instead using his mad martial arts skillz to beat the mooks. Likewise with Kelsey, actually.
As soon as the Batlings are destroyed, the demon uses Flamethrower again at Carter, and he dodges. He then shoots at the demon, followed by Chad and Dana. Kelsey and Joel join the three. The demon tells the Rangers that they don't have the guts, but on Carter's command, the Rangers shoot the MOtW, destroying him.
So the citizens are saved, and a crisis has been averted. The Rangers demorph and are greeted by the happy citizens. Yes, it seems that everything's well and good.
...OR IS IT?
Back in the Aquabase, everyone is celebrating until they see the stern Captain Mitchell. Even Joel was about to tell the story of how he helped in defeating the demon until he accidentally bumps into Kelsey. Whoops.
The bad news? There's a time to celebrate. But...this is not one of those times. Diabolico Prime knows now that the Rangers exist. Kelsey thought that the Rangers destroyed that demon, but...it's not him. It's one of his monsters.
Now the Rangers have a lot of work to do. As the days go on, the fights will get tougher. Dana and the crew members salute Captain Mitchell, and the other Rangers join in on the saluting. And so the first episode ends with that image of the Rangers united and ready for what lies ahead.
Next time on Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue
, it's a Joel-focused episode as he learns what the meaning of teamwork is. And we will see Ms. Fairweather for the first time, spoiler alert.
What will our heroes face? Who is Ms. Fairweather? And will I try to stop gushing?
All these questions and more will be revealed on the next Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue—The Livebloggening, Part II